Thursday, March 18, 2010

Asian Champions Trophy postponed

By Ajitpal Singh

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) confirmed that the 1st Asian Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held in Ipoh on April 13-18, has been postponed indefinitely after South Korea and Pakistan pulled out.
MHF secretary Hashim Yusoff said he received notification on the matter from the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) on Tuesday.
"Korea did not state their reason while Pakistan lost their entire team and management staff after doing badly in the recent World Cup," said Hashim yesterday.
"AHF has yet to inform us (MHF) on the new dates. We will decide whether to host the tournament after they release the new dates."
China were the other team set to contest the four-nation Champions Trophy. Pakistan Hockey Federation president Qasim Zia sacked the entire team management -- including coach, manager and selectors -- after Pakistan finished last in the 12-team World Cup in Delhi last week.
Hashim said the postponement of the tournament will not affect the national team's preparation for priority tournaments.
"The national team's first international assignment of the year will be the Azlan Shah Cup (Ipoh on May 6-16).
"We may arrange international friendly matches for our team ahead of the event," he added.
The national squad, who have started training, are preparing for the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in October and the Guangzhou Asian Games a month later.